Her 13th victory at Lake Louise was a lucky one for Lindsey Vonn, who won her second downhill in two days at the Canadian resort in spite of a huge mistake.
The US skiier took a turn so short that she nearly stopped in the top section of the men’s Olympic course, yet retained enough speed and strength to upstage all her rivals and snatch her 55th World Cup victory in 1 minute, 52.90 seconds.
“I cut an edge and told myself: ‘Oh my God, what have I done?’ But I remembered a similar situation two years ago and I told myself to keep fighting,” Vonn said.
“It was actually the best place to make a fault because there’s a steep section afterwards to gather speed. I proved today that you always need to fight and that nothing is for granted,” she added.
Like in Friday’s downhill on the same course, Vonn’s compatriot Stacey Cook was second, 0.52 seconds adrift, while Swiss Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden was third, 0.62s behind for only her second World Cup podium placing.
It was Vonn’s sixth downhill victory in succession in the village that has been dubbed Lake Lindsey because of the tremendous amount of success by the four-time World Cup champion.
With 55 World Cup wins, she has now upstaged Austria’s Hermann Maier and equaled the number of victories by Swiss slalom specialist Vreni Schneider.
The record of 62 victories held by Austria’s Annemarie Moser-Proell now looks within reach.
Vonn was scheduled to be going for her 14th victory at Lake Louise in yesterday’s Super-G, hoping that the foggy conditions that have hampered the competition in the past couple of days would improve.
Reuters, BEAVER CREEK, Colorado
Italy’s Matteo Marsaglia had the race of a lifetime to win his maiden World Cup victory in a closely contested men’s Super-G event at Beaver Creek on Saturday.
The 27-year-old Italian, who had never previously made it to a World Cup podium, clocked 1 minute, 14.68 seconds to emulate compatriot Christof Innerhofer, winner of Friday’s downhill on the same Birds of Prey course.
Marsaglia beat pre-race favorite and current World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal, who had to be content with second place for the second day running, 0.27 seconds behind.
The Norwegian, who won both races in Lake Louise last weekend, broke clear in the race for the big globe, leading the US’ giant slalom world champion Ted Ligety by 140 points.
The last place on the podium went to Austria’s Hannes Reichelt, 0.70 seconds off the pace.
Ligety confirmed his progression in speed events by missing the podium by 0.04 seconds, finishing fourth, just as he did in the first Super G of the season.
The race was marred by several crashes, the most serious involving Max Franz, runner-up in the Lake Louise downhill a week ago.
The Austrian collided with a gate at the end of jump, briefly losing consciousness.
He was taken to hospital in Vail for checks with bruises to his face, but his legs and arms were unhurt, Austrian team spokesman Markus Aichner said.